MILITANT students in Davao City will file a human rights violation case against Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Norberto Gonzales on Monday, a student leader said.
Members of militant League of Filipino Students (LFS) and Anakbayan did a blitzkrieg Wednesday just as Secretary Gonzales was speaking about democratic election during a forum at Ateneo de Davao University (Addu).
Gonzales in turn tagged one militant student a communist and the group was ordered out of the venue.
"We plan to file a human rights violation case against him on Monday at the Commission on Human Rights. We're now asking for help from the UPLM (Union of People's Lawyers in Mindanao)," Karlos Manlupig, LFS Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said Saturday through phone.
He said their case will be grounded on the harassment made against them by forcing him and other militant students to leave the forum venue.
“Yung isa sa amin, Joselito Lagon o Bulldog, ay hinila-hila pa from 9th auditorium to Atenews. It was Gonzales’ security who gave the order to have us out the venue, so we consider him responsible. Second is ang pag-tag sa akin as ‘communist’. That's an indirect order to have me arrested," Manlupig said.
He said Lagon has been expelled from Atenews, the official student publication of Addu.
The university had arranged the said forum, with Gonzales as main guest to discuss the roles of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the church, faith communities and civil societies during the elections.
In the open forum, Manlupig stood up and confronted Gonzales.
"How can someone who masterminds political killings in the country represent democracy? We could not forget that Gonzales was the architect of the Oplan Bantay Laya 2. We could not forget that many people suddenly disappeared in Arroyo's regime," Manlupig said.
Gonzales replied: "I dislike having bodyguards. But when I roam around (the country) and communists want to kill me, I have to. That's why, I doubt with the way he talks, he sounds like a communist," referring to Manlupig.
Being referred by Gonzales as like a communist, Manlupig raised his voice and said: "Hindi po."
Gonzales continued his retort. "I pity you. It is my right to pity you. It is the youth's responsibility to know the truth. I am a person who would rather live peacefully and I dislike having bodyguards around me. Do you know why I have bodyguards? Because the communists want to kill me. All those who die in this country, they implicate that I am the brain of extra-judicial killings."
"Every NPA (New People’s Army) member is licensed to kill me, that’s what they are doing. That is the price I have to pay because I am unveiling the truth," Gonzales added.
In his talk, Gonzales said the blurred definition of rebellion and subversion is one of the reasons many of the youth join organizations that are the forefront of the NPA.
"Rebellion and subversion in this country is not well understood by the many. I wish that our lawmakers would make clear what rebellion and subversion is," Gonzales said.
Reacting on the outburst, Colonel Benito de Leon, senior military assistant to the Secretary of National Defense, said the students were entitled to their opinion and their protest was part of the freedom of expression. (JCZ)